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Welcome to Castleton Historical Society’s website

The Next Meeting will be held by Zoom on May 20, 2021.

alex to alexaIn 2014, the on-line retail giant Amazon announced the release of ‘Alexa’ – a voice-controlled smart speaker. It was an immediate success, leading to tens of millions of Alexa-enabled devices being sold worldwide over the 2017 Christmas holiday season, and in the UK it is estimated that more than one-in-five households now own one. The technology behind Alexa can be traced back, not only to the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell. but even to his father Alexander Melville Bell, an eminent Scottish speech therapist in the mid 19th century. Both Alex the father and Alex the son had hearing-impaired wives, and they were trying to find a way of making speech ‘visible’ to the deaf, and the telephone emerged as a by-product of their endeavours. However, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that their vision became a reality at the Bell Telephone Laboratory, paving the way to modern-day Alexa. This talk traces the history of these developments from Alex to Alexa, and will conclude with a glimpse of the future of voice communications and technology.

You can visit the CHS Activities page for descriptions of earlier talks including links to watch ‘The Bootmakers’ Strike in Eyam & Stoney Middleton’  & ‘The Origins of The Castleton Garland’.


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The Derbyshire village of Castleton developed as a settlement in the 12th century when the Norman fortress of Peveril Castle was built there. It lies in the Peak District National Park, the oldest National Park in the UK.  Castleton Historical Society was founded in 1973 as a voluntary group with the aim of researching and promoting the history of the Village through a programme of events, displays and talks.  This website provides information about our meetings, research activities, publications, events and The Castleton Museum for which CHS is responsible.  New members are always welcome.

The Castleton Museumis an accredited museum housed at Castleton Visitor Centre, Buxton Rd. The Centre is a joint partnership between The Peak District National Park Authority and CHS and has just been re-opened after a major refurbishment.  The Museum has also been redesigned with a new layout, displays and a wall size screen for digital presentations.

You can find the Visitor Centre here  Castleton Visitor Centre


Visit the CHS Blog for our latest news, including the Castleton Dig Diary.